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Old 09-25-2002, 10:25 AM   #12
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 228
Nar has just left Hobbiton.

Good question, good answers. I would agree with all of these posts.

I don't have much to add, except that I think the first version of the story of Luthien and Beren, 'The Tale of Tinuviel' from HoME 2-- the one where the Noldor are still Gnomes and Sauron is Tevildo the evil Prince of Cats-- has that loose charm that you're talking about-- and the courtship between the leads, while less grand and tragic, is more charming and heartfelt in some ways. At least, it takes a bit more time than 'love at first hearing'.

I connect that charm to a warm and loving aspect of JRRT's storytelling linked closely to his children when they were still children. So while I would agree with the comments of Billy Ferny and others on the children's story aspect, it seems to me that this tone is rooted more deeply than the intended 'children's book' genre (which genre seems to have worried JRRT in its tradition of 'preciousness'), rooted in JRRT's feelings about his family. The Christmas Letters about Father Christmas and his friend the North Polar Bear have that charm also, that intimate voice also, and they were written to his children and published much later. That's love and bliss and family-joy you're sensing, LMP. Even Smith has an ending concerned with a passage to the new generation.

The only other aspect I can think of is that the mythic background of the Hobbit and Shire to Bree sequences feels very English (possibly so English only a returned colonies-exile could feel it, possibly not) whereas the Noldor in their fading and tragic glamour feel more northern, no further south than middle Scotland at the warmest. The Hobbit and Bombadil's section are Tales Told from a Hedgerow. The Silmarillion's got icebergs and Northern Lights in it.
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